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Northwest Native American copper spoon.

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Native American Antiques831 of 1423Sioux Indian cabinet cardAny Info On This Little Bison marked DAK
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Posted 4 years ago


(1 item)

Copper spoon with a flat handle. Approx. 6 3/4 inch long and 1 1/2 inch wide. Appears to have etching on the handle (one side only) a motif in the style of Northwest Native American art. Inside the bowl of the spoon also contains an etching. The spoon does not show any sign of cleaning and has a green tint on the surface.
My maternal grandfather was with the U.S. Army in the 1900's, stationed in Washington and Alaska territories. I have military records to show his assignments so I can place him there at that time. No history has been handed down by the family and was recently discovered with other old silverware and cutlery in my mother's estate.

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  1. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 4 years ago
    Native Americans didn't "work" metals. Could have been obtained & then altered.
  2. ramer08, 4 years ago
    Its not a European design like other trade spoons. I understand copper was mined and 'worked' in the Copper River area prior to Western contact.
  3. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 4 years ago
    Copper ore has to be smelted & I have never heard of Indian smeltering any metal. They never even invented the wheel. If you find any information to the contrary, please let me know.
  4. ramer08, 4 years ago
    Not sure if you are including all Native Americans but smelting was known in Middle and South America prior to Columbus, i.e. gold and copper figures.
    As for the wheel, well known as a part of toys but never but to real use.
    There is strong evidence of copper smelting in the Great Lakes area prior to contact. As a matter of fact the copper artifacts from the Great Lakes are found as far as the Southeast. No evidence in the Northeast. As for the Northwest, the sources I find show the presence of copper as early as 1790 but were trade items. One source thinks there were copper works prior to contact but no evidence.
  5. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 4 years ago
    You described in your description as NW Indian items. You have obviously done research & now include Middle & S. America. Could have been in trade if the NW trades with those areas but don't remember hearing about. Gold doesn't require smelter & silver is usually close to pure as I remember, & just needs heat to separate from ore normally. I'm not arguing or trying to start a conflict, I just never heard of N. Amer. Indians even melting things such as gold, much less smelting copper from ore. Certainly never heard of wheeled toys before Europeans. If the wheel was known for toys, why wasn't the principle used in real life? I don't recall the wheel being used as a labour saving device in Middle or S. Amer. culture. I certainly don't claim to be an expert & would like to have this void filled in my knowledge.
  6. ramer08, 4 years ago
    The wheel was known to the Central and South Native American people but seemed more a curiosity than a practical tool Like why didn't the Chinese run further with gunpowder? One of those mysteries of history.
    Northwestern University has done much research on the Great Lake peoples and their copper production, apparently even re-creating the mines and forges in 2011 (

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